Unhealthy: I Love Dessert

by Kevin on June 17, 2009

This is the second post in a series of enjoying life to the fullest. This week’s posts are covering things that I love to do despite it not making much financial sense. Yesterday I told you about my financially unsound purchase of a 1978 BMW 320 that I plan to work on and restore over time.

Today I am confessing to you my absolute love of the last portion of any great meal: dessert.

I’m not sure when my sweet tooth grew to be so big. It seems I’ve enjoyed sweet things ever since I can remember.

Let me note that my Mom is a professional dietician and always taught moderation as I was growing up. The bad news is that means you don’t exactly get a ton of dessert all the time. The good news is dessert isn’t this hated thing that you never get to touch.

dessert

(Photo by MR+G)

Come One, Come All… Mostly

I’m also not too picky with dessert. I can’t stand coconut and carrot cake. Other than that I am pretty flexible. Anything chocolate sits good with me (you know, if you’d like to send me a blogging present :).

Cakes, cookies, brownies, pies, ice cream, cookie-cakes… I love it all.

On top of all this my wife is in the midst of a cake decorating class. Woe is me. She’s baking a new cake for each of the next three weeks. Well, someone has to eat it!

Financial Implications of Loving Dessert

Believe it or not this does tie into personal finance.

You Only Get One Body

If I were to go overboard with the dessert thing you might imagine I would run into health problems. I’m not Mr. Triathlon runner by any means, but I’m not completely sedentary either. I’m moderately healthy and have kept my weight in check. But if things were to get out of control that would quickly change.

Being overweight can lead to a myriad of health problems. Health problems, as a general rule, are expensive. Just think of the costs of diabetes, or carrying too much weight and running your knee joints. You only get one body here on earth so you need to keep in as best shape as possible.

Cutting Dessert Cuts Costs

Obviously if you aren’t making dessert at home (not to mention while eating out) then you’re saving money. Less cake mixes, bags of flour, and bags of chocolate chips mean less money spent every month in the grocery category of the budget.

This could be a problem if you just loved to eat all the time. For us, keeping this in check really isn’t all that difficult. Our grocery budget it set. It doesn’t fluctuate or change. We have a set amount of money to spend every month and we’ve got to fit all of our home meals into that budget. If that means we have room to pay for dessert then we can have dessert. Otherwise we will do without.

We Choose to Be Moderate on Dessert

I don’t want to give readers the idea that I’m a 500 pound gorilla sitting at my computer desk covered in chocolate crumbs. Not by any means. But at the end of the day I would be healthier if I didn’t eat dessert. We’d have more room in the grocery budget.

But life is for living. My wife and I have always somewhat-jokingly said this: would you rather eat healthy and live for a long time (but hate eating) or eat great tasting things and live for a shorter time (but love eating)? Again that is taking things to the extreme, but that is the kind of viewpoint we have. Let’s enjoy it while we can without going overboard.

Do you struggle with food? Leave a comment. I hope I’m not alone!

{ 5 comments }

Stephanie PTY June 17, 2009 at 2:44 pm

Mmmm… dessert! I hardly ever order dessert out, though. I think it’s just a habit – my parents never really were big on desserts, so I never developed the habit of it. But just the other day, I got a wacky craving for cupcakes, so I bought some cake mix and made them! I like making things from scratch, but sometimes it’s just easier/cheaper to get the stuff in the box.

If I go out to get a dessert, it’s usually very intentional and separate from the meal. We won’t get dessert at a restaurant, but after having dinner at home, we might go out for ice cream. I guess we’re just strange that way?

Diane June 17, 2009 at 9:02 pm

The key word is moderation, as with most things!

I do love dessert, but I don’t have it every night or with every meal out. However, I would be unhappy if I could never have dessert.

Sometimes, when we’re eating somewhere that is known for a particular dessert that we like, my boyfriend and I will share 1 dessert. Once in awhile we’ll go out just to have a special dessert, which we also share.

Moderation…

Kevin June 19, 2009 at 5:56 am

@Stephanie: Yea we don’t do much ordering out of dessert either — way too expensive. We make a lot of box stuff simply because it is a lot faster. There is definitely the time/cost ratio you’ve got to look at.

@Diane: Moderation indeed. Sharing is key. We do that all the time (unless we go to the Cheesecake Factory… oops).

Dipster June 26, 2009 at 9:33 pm

Moderation is a good rule of thumb to follow. Just remember there is a whole spectrum. You describe the either or decision to eat healthy and live long or eat enjoyably and live shorter. I suppose there are some desserts that are healthier than others but in general dessert is not healthy. For the rest of the meal their are often tasty things that are healthy as well.

Kevin June 30, 2009 at 7:48 pm

@Dipster: Moderation is a good rule of thumb indeed, but one that is hard to follow! The spectrum is a great way to look at things — you don’t have to go 100% to the pure-organic, no-meat, salad-only type of meals. Make steps in that direction, but still enjoy life.

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